Mercedes-AMG at the 2016 Paris auto show confirmed development of a hypercar packing the same powertrain as the Mercedes AMG Formula One team’s world championship winners. The car will debut in September at the 2017 Frankfurt auto show to help celebrate AMG’s 50th anniversary and will start deliveries the following year.
With work on a rival model taking place at Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing design centers, understandably AMG is keeping most of its car’s details a secret. However, the Affalterbach tuning firm’s boss Tobias Moers revealed some interesting tidbits on Monday at the 2017 Detroit auto show.
He said the car, whose code name is Project One, will deliver “at least” 1,000 horsepower. This output will be generated from what’s essentially the power unit from Mercedes AMG’s 2015 F1 car, modified for road use. Moers said the biggest challenge was getting the power unit’s engine to run smoothly at low revs and to be emissions compliant at higher revs-we’re talking as high as 10,000 rpm!
The F1 car’s power unit consists of a turbocharged 1.6-liter V-6, two motor-generators and a lithium-ion battery. One of the motor-generators is connected to the main driveshaft and helps spin the rear wheels as well as recover energy under braking. The other motor-generator is integrated with the engine’s turbocharger. It’s used to spool up the turbo to help prevent lag and at other times can recapture energy from the normally wasted exhaust gasses.
Unlike the F1 car, the Project One will also have an electric motor-generator (or two) powering the front wheels, providing the car with a “through-the-road” all-wheel-drive system much like the one in the Porsche 918 Spyder. Moers said a small electric range is possible, something like 15 miles on a full charge.
From the teaser shots that have been released, the car looks to resemble a Le Mans prototype racer for the road. It will be built almost entirely from carbon fiber, with Moers previously boasting that it will be the most efficient performance car in every respect, i.e. aerodynamics, fuel consumption, weight and power.
He’s also previously stated that no more than 300 examples will be built and that the project was being handled fully in-house. There had been some speculation that Lotus Engineering was helping with the handling, but Moers denied this. He also denied that the car will be called an R50, as has been rumored.
The expected price tag for all this goodness is thought to be in the vicinity of 2.4 million euros with taxes (approximately $2.54 million). Sure that’s a steep price, but this will be one of the rare instances where there is direct, undiluted technology transfer between an F1 car and road car. But development of AMG’s hypercar is about much more than just bragging rights. It signals the start of the firm’s pivot towards electrified drivetrains, which will soon feature predominantly among its lineup.
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